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This article is about the character class. For the The Frozen Throne hero unit, see Dark Ranger (Warcraft III). For other uses, see Dark Ranger (disambiguation).
Dark ranger
Warcraft III Reforged - Dark Ranger art.png
Affiliation Forsaken (Horde),
Darnassus (Alliance),[1]
Unseen Path
Formerly:
Scourge, Banshee loyalists
Favored by Undead elfUndead elfIconSmall UndeadNightElf Male.gifIconSmall UndeadNightElf Female.gif Darkfallen
ForsakenForsaken Forsaken
Weapon types Axe, Bow, Crossbow, Dagger, Scythe, Sword
Armor proficiency Leather
Skill(s) Archery, Necromancy
Could also be Hunter, Scout, Ranger

“I refuse to be a slave to this torment. Both the sin'dorei and Forsaken are my kin. I stand with them, and with the Horde.”

Dark Ranger Velonara

Dark rangers are undead archers mostly in service of the Forsaken. These cunning individuals, adept at manipulating opponents, are mainly Darkfallen composed of forcibly raised Farstrider rangers of Quel'Thalas. They now enjoy nothing more than sowing dissension and hatred within the enemy ranks.[2] They are considered as the elite agents of the Forsaken on the battlefields, and once, served as the personal guards of Sylvanas Windrunner.

At the time of the third invasion of the Burning Legion, the Ranger Lord Nathanos Blightcaller trained a new generation of dark rangers comprising of undead humans.[3] Following the War of the Thorns, numerous night elves were raised to undeath and became dark rangers under the lead of their captain, Delaryn Summermoon. At the end of the Fourth War, some of the dark rangers joined Sylvanas and her loyalists after she abandoned the Horde, the others remained loyal to the Forsaken and their faction.

After the Ruins of Lordaeron were reclaimed by the Forsaken, the Desolate Council allowed the kaldorei dark rangers to rejoin the Alliance, for those who wish to return to their people.

A dark ranger practising in World of Warcraft.

History

Third War

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, the first dark ranger.

When Prince Arthas Menethil invaded Quel'Thalas, he raised the fallen members of Sylvanas Windrunner's army either as incorporeal banshees or as intact bodies. These fallen high elves would become known as Darkfallen, prowling the lands as dark rangers for the Scourge.[4] Over time, some returned to the forests, others were sent on missions, and a few simply stayed put. When Arthas' power began to wane after his return from Kalimdor, Sylvanas called the dark rangers to her side. They accompanied her to Deatholme.[5]

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

The dark rangers joined the Forsaken assault into Northrend, and many were seen as part of the Hand of Vengeance. After the liberation of the Undercity from the traitors Putress and Varimathras, the Forsaken as a whole came under scrutiny, and the Kor'kron Elite were stationed in the Undercity. Among the changes made were the additions of Dark Ranger Clea, Dark Ranger Cyndia and Dark Ranger Anya, now serving as the elite patrols within the Undercity, replacing the Seekers.

As the war in Northrend drew to a close, Lady Sylvanas herself traveled to the Frozen Halls to take vengeance upon Arthas. Dark Ranger Vorel enlisted agents of the Horde to meet with the Dark Lady along with Dark rangers Loralen and Kalira. Loralen is ultimately slain by the Lich King, though Kalira manages to gather reinforcements in the form of Orgrim's Hammer in order to escape the halls.

Their sudden reappearance during the war against the Lich King would foreshadow the introduction of the hunter class to the Forsaken.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

A dark ranger in Curse of the Worgen.

Following the death of the Lich King, the Forsaken have reinforced their territories and took a far more aggressive stance in their war against the remnants of the Scarlet Crusade, the Scourge, and the Alliance. Consequently, the dark rangers have taken on a more visible presence, and could be seen throughout Silverpine Forest, Arathi Highlands and Hillsbrad Foothills.

During the Battle for Gilneas, a number of dark rangers accompanied Lady Sylvanas and discovered the Scythe of Elune, the likes of which would allow the Forsaken to have full dominion over the worgen, though it escaped from their grasp.[6]

Under the command of Dark Ranger Alina and Galen Trollbane, the Forsaken have set their sights on the Arathi Highlands. Later, Alina believed that the fallen nation of Stromgarde would make a fine setting for a new Undercity.[7]

During the Hillsbrad conflict, dark rangers were seen with domesticated spiders doing battle with the Bloodfang worgen. They are empowered by Helcular.

With the Scarlet Crusade in decline, Forsaken troops led by Dark Ranger Velonara were sent to remove the last traces of it from their territory.[8]

Legion

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

At the time of the third invasion of the Burning Legion, Ranger Lord Nathanos Blightcaller finished training a new generation of Forsaken rangers made up of undead humans, making the undead racial composition of the order more diverse.[3]

Prior to the Battle for Broken Shore, dark rangers could be seen at the Dranosh'ar Blockade in Durotar, preparing for the assault. They were later present on the battlefield, alongside the forces of the Horde against the demons. Later, a contingent of dark rangers led by Dark Ranger Velonara joined the Unseen Path, the union of all hunters on Azeroth.

Before the Storm

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

As the Gathering occurred in the Arathi Highlands, Sylvanas took 200 dark rangers with her to Thoradin's Wall. When Sylvanas noticed the Forsaken of the Desolate Council walking towards Stromgarde Keep, defecting to the Alliance, she ordered the dark rangers to kill every Forsaken on the field but spare the humans. The rangers mounted bats and carried out the task, harming no humans. Then they regrouped with their queen where she just killed Calia Menethil. As King Anduin Wrynn gathered Calia's body, Sylvanas and her dark rangers simply left.[9]

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

The Kaldorei dark rangers that left with Calia Menethil.

During the Fourth War, dark rangers participated in the War of the Thorns and other major conflicts. After the fall of the Undercity, a group of them conducted a guerilla war from the abandoned town of Strahnbrad against the Alliance.[10]

Numerous night elves slain during the War of the Thorns were raised to undeath as Darkfallen by the Horde. These undead kaldorei became Kaldorei Dark Rangers,[11] and are since led by Delaryn Summermoon who acts as their new captain. The Warden Sira Moonwarden was also raised to join the Forsaken, but as a "Dark Warden".[12] They later participated in the Battle for Darkshore as part of the Horde forces.

During the conflict, dark rangers were generally used as elite enforcers of Sylvanas' will, executing the warchief's secret orders and protecting its loyalists. While some of them sided with Sylvanas when she betrayed the Horde, many more remained with the Horde however.[13]

Shadowlands

Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

Dark Ranger Velonara, representative of the dark rangers in the Desolate Council.

Following the end of the war against the Jailer, a number of dark rangers joined the Forsaken as they mustered in the Tirisfal Glades. In the rebuilding Brill, they took position to protect the town and destroy the blighted undead in the area. After the Ruins of Lordaeron were cleansed, the dark rangers moved there and began to patrol, while Dark Ranger Velonara joined the Desolate Council, the new governing body of the Forsaken.

Among the night elves raised as Darkfallen during the Battle for Darkshore, Delaryn Summermoon and others dark rangers decided to stay with the Forsaken, while others had the right to return to their own and rejoined the Alliance.[1]

Races

Nearly all dark rangers are undead high elves with blood-red eyes and deathly pale skin, once Farstrider rangers of Quel'Thalas, killed by Arthas Menethil and his Scourge during the Scourge invasion of Quel'Thalas.

Before he trained a new generation of Forsaken rangers comprising of undead humans, making the undead racial composition more diverse,[3] Nathanos Blightcaller was the only one human dark ranger.

Numerous night elves killed during the War of the Thorns were later raised from the dead by Sylvanas and her val'kyrs, turning them into loyal dark rangers.

Appearance and attire

Elven dark rangers are typically clad in a leather-looking outfit complete with a hood, which could be seen as a dark twist of the Farstrider attire. Nearly all of them are seen with a cloak. Dark Ranger Anya is a prominent example of this style. Another dark ranger outfit, as sported by Dark Ranger Lyana, is also not an uncommon dark ranger style of choice.

The generation of Forsaken rangers, comprising of undead humans trained by Nathanos, appear to favor the woodsman axe and the crossbow in contrast to the bow and arrow typically employed by their undead elf counterparts. Like Nathanos, they sport a leather-looking outfit and optionally a hood and face mask.[3]

Known

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

Name Role Status Location
Neutral  Sylvanas Windrunner Former Queen of the Forsaken Active Various
Neutral  Nathanos Blightcaller Champion of the Banshee Queen Deceased Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Velonara Member of the Desolate Council Active Various
Horde  Delaryn Summermoon Night elf dark ranger captain Active Various
Horde  Ranger Captain Areiel Former captain of the dark rangers Deceased Ghostblade Post, Howling Fjord
Horde  Dark Ranger Alina Quest giver Active Galen's Fall, Arathi Highlands
Horde  Dark Ranger Anya Active Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Clea Active Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Cyndia Active Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Denyelle Deceased Boralus Harbor
Horde  Dark Ranger Kalira Active Various
Horde  Kitala Starshadow Active Dazar'alor, Tirisfal Glades
Neutral  Lenara Recruiter for the Unseen Path Active Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Loralen Deceased Icecrown Citadel
Horde  Dark Ranger Lyana Quest giver Deceased Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Marrah Quest giver Active Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Thyala Leading the invasion of Gilneas Deceased Duskmist Shore, Gilneas
Horde  Dark Ranger Vorel Active Various
Horde  Dark Ranger Thandel Deceased Underhold during B [50] Stay of Execution
Horde  Dark Ranger Zanra Deceased Underhold during B [50] Stay of Execution

Unnamed

In Warcraft III

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Main article: Dark Ranger (Warcraft III)

Dark Ranger portrait from Warcraft III: Reforged.

In The Frozen Throne, Sylvanas Windrunner — after being raised as a banshee by Arthas — regained her physical body and became the first dark ranger. Dark Rangers are a playable hero class.

In the RPG

Dark ranger in the Horde Player's Guide.

Dark Ranger prestige class icon.[14]

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

When Sylvanas Windrunner, Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, regained her physical body, she realized that the natural world would never respond to her wishes again. Angered by this development, she turned to the arts that were becoming more and more natural to her: Necromancy. She altered her elven ranger teachings into a new form. Thus, the dark rangers were born.[15]

Abilities

Dark rangers are similar to their high elven cousins but focus on shadowcraft more than nature. Dark rangers are silent and invisible stalkers of the shadows, felling unsuspecting opponents with a single arrow. Dark rangers still favor the bow as the ultimate weapon, using the same arts that Quel'Thalas taught for millennia. Their spells work with manipulating the essences of life and death, as well as various horrible curses and mind-enslaving abilities.[15]

Dark rangers' senses grow sharper than even those of other Forsaken. The dark ranger learns how to fade into dark conditions, wrapping herself with shadows. The skilled dark ranger can notice the tiny movements of her enemies along with other visual and auditory cues that allow her to react more quickly in combat.[16]

While they no longer study nature, dark rangers remain some of the best trackers in the world. Naturally, most dark rangers hail from the scout class, but many newer rangers are former rogues, who use their stealth abilities to act as silent and near-invisible slayers for the Dark Lady.[15]

Relations

Once fully trained, Sylvanas's dark rangers once again assumed their roles as guardians and hunters, now working for the Forsaken. Some undead, especially former elves, view rangers as a necessary force and trust them implicitly. Other Forsaken view these shadow killers as relics of an old past, with an inability to move along with the times.

Dark Rangers serve as generals for Forsaken armies, as well as elite scouts and assassins. Like most Forsaken, dark rangers remain in the back lines, performing precision attacks and curses.[17]

Conversion

An elven ranger who dies and returns as a Forsaken undergoes a great shock. She can no longer cast elven ranger spells and loses her woodland stride ability. While some may choose to let things be, most immediately seek out a dark ranger to relearn their arts.

An elven ranger seeking to convert to a dark ranger must, of course, have died, returned as a Forsaken, and seek to learn the arts of the shadow rather than the wild. This ordeal is difficult, as the dark ranger must twist everything she was taught about nature to start learning her darker trade. Then comes the hard part. A dark ranger-to-be must undergo a lengthy trial, where she unlearns everything she was taught as an elf and learns the new arts of a Forsaken.[15]

Faith

A recent movement among the Forsaken has taken hold of dark rangers. The Cult of Forgotten Shadow moves like wildfire among the undead, and the dark rangers are no exception to the obsession with the faith.

To fill the void left by the "loss of their druidism,"[15] the dark rangers latched onto the Forgotten Shadow. Most dark rangers sympathize with the origins of the Forgotten Shadow and perhaps understand the Shadow more than any other undead in Lordaeron. While this movement disturbs Lady Sylvanas, she allows it to continue.[15]

Items

Character customization

"Dark Ranger" customizations.

The quest achievement  [Return to Lordaeron] unlocks "Dark Ranger" customization with white skin and glowing red eye options for blood elf, void elf, and night elf characters. The customization isn't available to death knight and demon hunter characters.

Before patch 9.2.5, it was possible to almost fully replicate the dark ranger look and outfit in World of Warcraft. A blood elf female using extremely pale skin (a death knight often works) can acquire the  [Stormshroud Armor] (legs, hands, and shoulders),  [Tombstone Breastplate] (chest),  [Dar'toon's Cloak] (cape), and  [Traveler's Boots] (boots, or a similar model) can be found. The red eyes are difficult to bypass, though  [Stealther's Helmet of Second Sight] or an identical model conveniently offers both a hood and cosmetic red eyes.

Notes

  • Unlike the others, Velonara was brought back as a dark ranger by Sylvanas Windrunner and not the Scourge.[13]
  • Many dark ranger NPCs can use the [Black Arrow] talent, like their Warcraft III counterpart.
  • The death knight Lady Alistra uses a dark ranger skin, something not available to death knight player characters.
  • Dark rangers did not play a particularly large role in the original World of Warcraft, presumably because of the lack of unique high elf/blood elf models.
    • Since the addition of the base high/blood elven model, they have a more visible presence in the game.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Gallery

References

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